In the heart of the New Forest lies a sparkling jewel, a wonderful haven of tranquillity and a blissful escape. It was here that we found ourselves on a fabulous sunny day – Careys Manor House Hotel and SenSpa.
Tucked away down a curving gravel driveway, the hotel is a gorgeously grand country house. With cute gardens for relaxing in the sun and little nooks to explore, they hold the prettiest flowers, greeting you as you leave your car with the valet and enter through the hotel’s grand front door.
A wonderful welcome
We received a lovely welcome – the lobby is charming and introduces the appropriate forest theme, wood panelled with a winding wooden staircase and decorated with wooden sculpture with copper accents that were replicated around the hotel. After checking in, we were shown to our room – one of their newly refurbished Knightwood Garden rooms.
Light, modern and well appointed, the room had a little patio and access to the pretty walled garden with water feature and lovely summer flowers.
A delightful goody bag filled with Senspa products and a bottle of Prosecco welcomed us, along with locally made chocolates which didn’t last long!
Weddings at Careys Manor
A meeting with Weddings Manager, Françoise, followed where we were let into all the secrets of planning a wedding at Careys Manor. She aims to take all the stress out of the day, and even as we sat and chatted, a bride getting married the next day had just dropped off the last pieces of wedding decoration and was in the spa for the rest of the day! Perfect!
Careys Manor prides themselves on being flexible when it comes to weddings. Françoise has been there over 15 years and is the key to a smoothly run wedding. With a choice of four locations, weddings can take place inside the hotel or the ceremony can be held at one of the local churches, and the hotel will host the reception and evening celebrations.
The Cedar Suite has its own private entrance and can accommodate 100 guests for a ceremony, 80 for the wedding breakfast and 150 for an evening celebration.
The Beech Room holds up to 50, for a more intimate affair – with gorgeous natural light, this is perfect for a smaller celebration.
The Lounge is set in the original Manor section of the hotel. With wood panelling, oak beams and Inglenook fireplace, it’s cosy and inviting, welcoming up to 100 guests for your ceremony.
You can even decide to marry in the Cedar Garden under twinkling fairy lights! One of only a few places in Hampshire licensed for outdoor weddings, it holds up to 100 guests.
Perfect for photos
The venue is so picturesque and perfect for photographs. There’s even a secret garden with sculptures of greenery. The gate, with its heart-shaped cut-outs, leads to beautiful foliage and topiary creations. In addition, the fence holds love locks, engraved with the date of the couple’s wedding and bearing ribbons of the colour palette of the day. As part of the wedding package, the hotel offers a first-anniversary bed and breakfast, and couples will come and check on their love lock, remembering their happy day.
Finally, we made it to the spa. With an herbal sauna, crystal steam room and bubbling hydrotherapy pool, this is the epitome of relaxation. A perfect place to find some calm. And with the Zen Garden Thai restaurant and large relaxation room, this would be an ideal venue for a hen weekend, couples getaway or retreat before the big day.
Feeling utterly relaxed and refreshed, dinner was served, so we headed down to Cambuim, Careys Manor’s fine dining restaurant and enjoyed a cocktail before eating. The restaurant is lovely, relaxed yet refined, with subtle forest theme running throughout. Service was great, and the charming Anna made our evening a delight.
From the delicate Hake to the sublime peanut butter mousse with strawberry sorbet and peanut brittle, the meal was gorgeous – highly recommended.
After dinner, we had time to step into the forest to witness a glorious sunset over the trees. Careys Manor is right in the heart of the Forest, it doesn’t take long to find a gorgeous view.
The restaurant also played host to our breakfast the next morning, where we enjoyed a sunny garden view over a full English after a really comfy night’s sleep. There were buffet and menu options – English and Continental – and once again, the staff were friendly and wonderfully efficient.
And then we were off – into the forest to explore amongst cute ponies, trickling streams, woods and heathland.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Careys Manor – beautiful grounds, wonderful spa and amazing food – all nestled in the heart of the magical New Forest.
Careys Manor & SenSpa, Brockenhurst, New Forest, Hampshire, SO42 7RH